May-Dec 2021 Update
I hope you and your family continue to remain well and safe in these ever-changing and uncertain times. 2021 was another busy year, full of lockdowns and travel restrictions, which sadly has impacted and separated many. In the congregations, many of our usual activities were postponed or cancelled due to government restrictions. 2021 also saw major events which affected the world including political turmoil, social breakdowns, extreme weather events and the ever-present threat of COVID-19 looming like a cloud over everyone. It can be said, 2021 will be a year for the record books, I’m sure!
We also said goodbye to two faithful leaders in God’s Work in the Asia-Pacific Region. Mr Thomas Tial Hoe, our Pastor in Burma, died in June; and was shortly followed by Mr Arius Nusantara, our Pastor serving the brethren in Indonesia, who died in August after contracting COVID-19. I miss these men deeply – they were more than Pastors – they were also fathers, husbands and friends. I spent many hours with both men and we were close brothers serving God’s people in the Region. I know God has a plan, and scriptures like, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalms 116:15) help when I think of them. They ran their race well and I’m looking forward to seeing these men in the Resurrection.
Yet, in spite of the challenges, some congregations were still able to hold activities this year. In this issue, you will read about family fellowship weekends, baptisms, blessings of the children and births. You will also find some reports from the Feast of Tabernacles, the 29th anniversary of God’s Work in Malaysia and about a special day for a young couple in NZ….congratulations to Mr and Mrs Fa’oliu! Finally, you will read about our Mindanao Leadership Training Conference held in the Philippines in November. These conferences are vital for the future of God’s Church. Please pray for all our members in the Philippines and around the Region as we face various manpower challenges – “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few” (Matthew 9:37). As God continues to grow His Church, we will need more able men and families to be pillars and leaders going into the years ahead.
Brethren, Christ is leading and blessing His Church! I want to share with you some very encouraging statistics prepared by Mr Mark Mager, who looks after our Mail Processing Department and records statistics for the Region. In 2021, we received the following:
• 11,920 TW literature requests
• 11,641 Facebook responses
• 1,719 requests for Lesson 1 of
the Bible Study Course
• 9,948 calls to the Regional Office
In addition, 23,462 TW subscribers received the printed magazine, and we currently have 1,734 members, 657 co-workers and 422 donors. God is also working with many of our subscribers, as we received 270 GOTO’s (people requesting a visit from a minister). Let’s thank God for the increase in 2021!
Obviously, we are still very small and have so much more work to do. Christ said, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14). Through Christ, let’s ask God to bless His Work, to protect His people and for His Kingdom to come soon!
In Christ’s service,
Australasian Regional Director